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Old 2nd November 2011, 14:56   #1
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Default Don't want the driver using air-conditioner in my absence

Hello everyone,
I have a Wagon R, which is mostly driven by a driver. I suspect when the driver is alone in the car and we are working, he uses the air conditioner. I was wondering whether there is a way to have some kind of a wireless remote lock which could start the AC only when I am in the car ?
thanks
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Old 3rd November 2011, 18:30   #2
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Default Re: Car Air conditioner electronic lock or remote

Earlier Autocops used to come with an additional on/off switch that could be hooked up to any accessory of your choice. The installer had given me the option of music system or air-con.

It shouldn't be too difficult for any expert electrician to set up a master switch (+ key) for your air-conditioner.

BTW, monitor your fuel efficiency on a full tank to full tank basis. Hold your driver responsible if it falls too low. That's the best way to stop him from sleeping in your air-conditioned car (while you are at work) and also helps prevent petrol theft.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 19:51   #3
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Default Re: Car Air conditioner electronic lock or remote

Quote:
Originally Posted by zook09 View Post
Hello everyone,
I have a Wagon R, which is mostly driven by a driver. I suspect when the driver is alone in the car and we are working, he uses the air conditioner. I was wondering whether there is a way to have some kind of a wireless remote lock which could start the AC only when I am in the car ?
thanks
I am assuming that you dont send your driver on errands

If you wagon R has an engine immobilizer, Make a duplicate key (Ordinary key). Once you get dropped from the car, take the orignal key and hand him over the duplicate key. Your car will not start without the immobilizer and so the AC compressor cannot be switched on. This is crude but will work. Secondly, the key can lock / unlock the manual central locking. The driver would not need the orignal key key since the vehicle is going to be parked at all times and would not initiate a need to start the vehicle.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 22:36   #4
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Default Re: Car Air conditioner electronic lock or remote

You need to be looking for something like this
link

This is a non standard product so, you will need to shop around a bit before you find one.

Another method is that you get a lockable panel lid made of fiberglass for your complete aircon panel. Will look crude but, is a nice way to ensure that the a/c is not misused.
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Old 4th November 2011, 09:09   #5
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Default Re: Car Air conditioner electronic lock or remote

Zook09,
This is something observed in many of driver driven cars, & SUVs. As a owner we are concerned in extracting the maximum from every drop of fuel, but for the driver it isn't his dad's money. And least concerned about it. I was able to think of the following solution for your problem.
Purchase a Motor-cycle central locking remote system. You can get a Minda made only for about Rs 1000 or so. You can DIY or take assistance from a car electrician. Connect is the power supply to the central locking unit (CLU). Locate the wire that powers the compressor, and connect it via the ignition lines of the CLU. Now you can turn on / off the compressor with the remote in your hand. Hope the attached schematic helps.
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Old 4th November 2011, 09:50   #6
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Default Re: Car Air conditioner electronic lock or remote

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Earlier Autocops used to come with an additional on/off switch that could be hooked up to any accessory of your choice. The installer had given me the option of music system or air-con.

It shouldn't be too difficult for any expert electrician to set up a master switch (+ key) for your air-conditioner.

BTW, monitor your fuel efficiency on a full tank to full tank basis. Hold your driver responsible if it falls too low. That's the best way to stop him from sleeping in your air-conditioned car (while you are at work) and also helps prevent petrol theft.
Thanks GTO. Our car does not have an alarm system, I will look whether such an alarm model is available. By master switch + key for AC, you mean the alarm system remote will have an extra button to activate/deactivate the AC ? If yes, that should be helpful.
The fuel efficiency has gone down - that is what my parents have been observing specially in this summer and thus we suspected that the driver is using the AC when we are not around. This got us thinking about having some solution for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
I am assuming that you dont send your driver on errands

If you wagon R has an engine immobilizer, Make a duplicate key (Ordinary key). Once you get dropped from the car, take the original key and hand him over the duplicate key. Your car will not start without the immobilizer and so the AC compressor cannot be switched on. This is crude but will work. Secondly, the key can lock / unlock the manual central locking. The driver would not need the orignal key key since the vehicle is going to be parked at all times and would not initiate a need to start the vehicle.
The driver is rarely sent on errands, mostly he would be sitting around killing his time with other drivers !
This is a good suggestion, but would be a bit inconvenient - handing the key everytime we exit the car for a long time, but probably is the cheapest solution ! I will keep it in mind.
I was in fact thinking whether i could get an additional immobilizer installed for the AC, which would be separate from the one installed for the engine. Don't know if it is possible to do, or how expensive that would be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCause View Post
You need to be looking for something like this
link

This is a non standard product so, you will need to shop around a bit before you find one.

Another method is that you get a lockable panel lid made of fiberglass for your complete aircon panel. Will look crude but, is a nice way to ensure that the a/c is not misused.
The eBay link is dead, but I searched for the item in the url and get what you meant. This should do the trick, if it is able to take the load of the AC supply. Since these are mentioned to be for LED lights, which take very low power, I would have to be careful before using this. Thanks for the great suggestion.
As you mentioned, the lockable fibre glass panel would be a bit of an overkill in this situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilangop View Post
Zook09,
This is something observed in many of driver driven cars, & SUVs. As a owner we are concerned in extracting the maximum from every drop of fuel, but for the driver it isn't his dad's money. And least concerned about it. I was able to think of the following solution for your problem.
Purchase a Motor-cycle central locking remote system. You can get a Minda made only for about Rs 1000 or so. You can DIY or take assistance from a car electrician. Connect is the power supply to the central locking unit (CLU). Locate the wire that powers the compressor, and connect it via the ignition lines of the CLU. Now you can turn on / off the compressor with the remote in your hand. Hope the attached schematic helps.
This seems to be a very good idea, this would give a separate remote for the AC and would be quite convenient. Wonder if someone has tried this or any other solution for this. Its hard to believe that owners of driver driven cars wont face this problem. Thanks a lot, I will start searching for a bike alarm-lock system next time I go back home in holidays. Do you think, it will have enough amperage to pass through the AC power supply ? I don't want it to blow something up !!
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Old 4th November 2011, 10:40   #7
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Default Re: Car Air conditioner electronic lock or remote

Quote:
Originally Posted by zook09 View Post
This seems to be a very good idea, this would give a separate remote for the AC and would be quite convenient. Wonder if someone has tried this or any other solution for this. Its hard to believe that owners of driver driven cars wont face this problem. Thanks a lot, I will start searching for a bike alarm-lock system next time I go back home in holidays. Do you think, it will have enough amperage to pass through the AC power supply ? I don't want it to blow something up !!
The first thing is that even the driver wont be aware that such a control exists in the vehicle. Most of the two wheeler accessory shops have this stuff. You can order them from ebay as well. In this setup you are only disconnecting the compressor and not the entire AC system. I think the relay inside the Motorcycle CLU can handle it. If you are so skeptical you can control the compressor through a higher current relay which inturn is turned ON from the CLU. This way you dont have to worry about blowing up any electrical component. Will see if I can get the typical current ratings for the compressor used in a car.
I have the feeling that it would be humiliating for the driver if you exchange keys at every halt. There might be a possibility that in some cases like in mall or restaurant he would drop you at the entry and drive some distance to park the car.
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Old 4th November 2011, 15:58   #8
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Default Re: Car Air conditioner electronic lock or remote

I was also trying to search about the AC ratings, but have not found any reliable answer till now. If you can find some information on that, it would really make it easier to decide.
Someone else suggested a 12V DC remote, but again what I fear is that it may not be able to handle the current. Those kinds are easily available on eBay but are mainly used for LED lights etc and most mentioned they could take in a maximum current of 8-10 A. There were some others which mentioned 23-27 A, but am still not sure about them.thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilangop View Post
The first thing is that even the driver wont be aware that such a control exists in the vehicle. Most of the two wheeler accessory shops have this stuff. You can order them from ebay as well. In this setup you are only disconnecting the compressor and not the entire AC system. I think the relay inside the Motorcycle CLU can handle it. If you are so skeptical you can control the compressor through a higher current relay which inturn is turned ON from the CLU. This way you dont have to worry about blowing up any electrical component. Will see if I can get the typical current ratings for the compressor used in a car.
I have the feeling that it would be humiliating for the driver if you exchange keys at every halt. There might be a possibility that in some cases like in mall or restaurant he would drop you at the entry and drive some distance to park the car.
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Old 4th November 2011, 17:40   #9
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Default Re: Car Air conditioner electronic lock or remote

Quote:
Originally Posted by zook09 View Post
The driver is rarely sent on errands, mostly he would be sitting around killing his time with other drivers !
This is a good suggestion, but would be a bit inconvenient - handing the key everytime we exit the car for a long time, but probably is the cheapest solution ! I will keep it in mind.
I was in fact thinking whether i could get an additional immobilizer installed for the AC, which would be separate from the one installed for the engine. Don't know if it is possible to do, or how expensive that would be.
Of course you can fit another immobilizer "technically" but it is not practical and it would cost you a bomb. Also if your car is under warranty, it would void your warranty. Secondly finding a qualified technician will be a challenge.

On a lighter note, buy yourself a Xylo, which has a feature to infer how many kms where driven with AC and how many without AC.
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Old 4th November 2011, 18:32   #10
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Default Re: Don't want the driver using air-conditioner in my absence

Best would be to keep a watch, may be give a surprise visit to check if he is running the engine when the car is parked. In the first place, I am assuming that you have asked the driver if he uses the AC.
Anything which makes the driver to feel that you don't trust him is a bad idea.
If you start handing a duplicate key every time you get down, any individual with some self respect will not stay. It will only the spoil the relationship.
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Old 4th November 2011, 19:01   #11
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Default Re: Don't want the driver using air-conditioner in my absence

Use management first. Then if it fails, use technology.

Why don't you talk to him that you are finding the fuel efficiency low these days and ask him if he is using the A/C on idle. Let him know that it is not good for the car and your pocket. As a further step, follow what GTO pointed out - "BTW, monitor your fuel efficiency on a full tank to full tank basis. Hold your driver responsible if it falls too low."

Quote:
The first thing is that even the driver wont be aware that such a control exists in the vehicle.
Why? Won't the driver think why the A/C works only when saab is inside the car? If talking to him do not work out, better let him know that you will be forced to install a sort of control - mechanical or electronic as suggested in above posts. He has to know why he is punished, otherwise he can try tinkering with the control, thinking since you did not speak to him about it, he also not going to speak about overcoming it.
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Old 4th November 2011, 19:06   #12
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Default Re: Don't want the driver using air-conditioner in my absence

how about changing the billing model
Ask him how much mileage the car gets. IF you think what he says is realistic, pay him for the fuel, based on that calculation, and watch it him suddenly become very frugal
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Old 4th November 2011, 19:52   #13
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Default Re: Don't want the driver using air-conditioner in my absence

Just 1 more idea popped into my mind. Connect an hour meter / time counter in parallel to the wire going to the elctromagnetic clutch in the compressor. If it ecxeeds the time you travel in the car, you found the cluprit. Digital hour meters are commonly used in gensets, earth movers, tractors, etc. in the standard 63mm guage size.
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Old 4th November 2011, 20:05   #14
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Default Re: Don't want the driver using air-conditioner in my absence

This is a very common problem. We have caught the driver 2-3 times sitting inside the parked car with the Ac on. The problem is so common that its not worth enough to fire the damn fellow for it since you become accustomed to his style of driving and vice versa.

Exchanging keys etc doesn't look nice and somehow derogatory. The relay idea sounds interesting. Can someone elaborate a little more on it?
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Old 4th November 2011, 20:36   #15
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Default Re: Don't want the driver using air-conditioner in my absence

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The relay idea sounds interesting. Can someone elaborate a little more on it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by zook09 View Post
Since these are mentioned to be for LED lights, which take very low power, I would have to be careful before using this.
You use the 12v remotely switchable supply from the device(bike central locking/remote LED driver) to power a separate relay (heavy duty) which in turn turns on supply to the aircon switch. That is, the aircon will turn on only when you activate the relay with remote & then press the A/C on switch. If you observe carefully, the A/C switch is heavy duty one & of high amperage. So, using bike Central lock System as such to switch A/C on is bound to cause electrical problems. Use Havell's/Finolex HRFR cables of 2sq mm or more, in addition to the relay for this application .
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